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Colleagues, parents remember Onslow County educator of 45 years

By Alison Parker
Published On: Oct 31 2013 03:19:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 31 2013 04:36:02 PM CDT
JACKSONVILLE, ONSLOW COUNTY -

Elizabeth Elks remembers her friend Kay Gresham -- a true Tarheels fan, a wife and an educator. Gresham died Wednesday, Oct. 30 of complications from a surgery to treat kidney cancer. 

"Dr. Gresham was an ample role model of how you should live your life," Elks said.

Inside a school is her office, where Gresham warmly welcomed colleagues, children and parents like Jenni Petersen.

"She will be truly missed, among staff, and the volunteers that did know her at the school," Petersen said.

The children miss her, and drew pictures for their mentor they call "Dr. K."

Colleague Lesley Eason saw first-hand how Gresham inspired everyone around her.

Gresham was the director of the Thompson early childhood center and an active member of the Jacksonville Rotary Club. She also started a scholarship program for local students. Although she had an accomplished career, it was all for the children, the community and her family.

It was her calling to give back through teaching.

Eason describes Gresham as "someone who loved public education for what public education does, to make us all better as a society. We are a better school system because of 40 years of Kay Gresham's influence."

There will be a memorial service at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3 at Trinity United Methodist Church.